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Classification: Magic Spells

Creator: Cyttorak

User/Possessors: Ancient One (Yao), Baron Mordo (Karl Mordo), Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange)

First Appearance: Strange Tales I#125/2 (July, 1964)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Crimson Circle of Cyttorak encircles enemy sorcerers and/or objects before expanding into a translucent sphere to entrap them. In addition the spell can be used to seal rooms and/or buildings. The Crimson Circle has also been used in combination with the Seven Suns of Cinnibus and Hands of Oshtur to heal a mystical horse.

Version: Conjuration

Casting Time: Seconds
Range: Unrevealed, at least short range
Components: A somatic component: fingers/hands/arms gesture

Duration: Concentration
Primary effects: A purple and/or crimson colored sphere that traps persons and/or objects
Collateral effects: None


(Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme I#44 (fb) - BTS) - The Cyttorak-related spells were some of the first ones the Ancient One taught Doctor Strange. It's seems likely this included the Crimson Circle of Cyttorak.

(Strange Tales I#125 (fb) - BTS) - Baron Mordo used the Crimson Circle of Cyttorak to imprison the Ancient One and hid the mystic in the jungle of the Himalayas.

(Strange Tales I#125) - Doctor Strange successfully located the Ancient One, who was still trapped in the Crimson Circle of Cyttorak. After defeating Mordo, Strange dissolved the magic spell with but a flick of his finger, saving the Ancient One.

(Doctor Strange II#7) - When Doctor Strange faced Umar in the Dark Dimension, he summoned the Circle of Cyttorak to trap the sorceress. However, the powerful Umar easily broke the enchantment before it could take shape.

(Doctor Strange II#57) - Amidst a fight against the powerful sorceress Margali Szardos, Doctor Strange summoned the Circle of Cyttorak to trap her Wand of Power. Separated from the Wand of Power, Margali quickly lost her powers, freed from its influence she thanked Strange. Somewhat later, Strange broke the spell after which he snapped the wand in two.

(Doctor Strange II#58 - BTS) - When Doctor Strange met with Magali's daughter Jimaine Szardos he recalled using the Circle of Cyttorak to trap the Wand of Power.

(Doctor Strange II#68) - Doctor Strange arrived at Garret Castle in response to a summon from Victoria Bentley who was concerned about the troubling behavior of Dane Whitman, the Black Knight. Strange found that Whitman's winged stallion Valinor had fallen sick and combined the Crimson Circle of Cyttorak spell with the Seven Suns of Cinnibus and Hands of Oshtur to heal Valinor.

(Doctor Strange II#70) - Preparing to face Umar in the Dark Dimension, Doctor Strange summoned the Crimson Circles from the Sphere of Cyttorak to seal his chamber in the Sanctum Santorum. His mission, however was set back when Sara Wolfe knocked in the chamber's door.

(Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme I#44 - BTS) - When Doctor Strange and Nova (Frankie Raye) found themselves in the Crimson Cosmos, Strange was reminded he'd never encountered Cyttorak and only used his red-motif bands and circles.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and George Bell.

To date there have been many spells attributed to Cyttorak: the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, the Scarlet Screen of Cyttorak, Scarlet Sphere of Cyttorak, the Screaming Masks of Cyttorak and the Clamp of Cyttorak.

Personally I've never really understood the difference between the Crimson Circle, the Scarlet Screen and the Scarlet Sphere, they could very well all be the same spell. Also because in Doctor Strange II#70 (April, 1985) Strange summoned the "Crimson Circles from the Sphere of Cyttorak" so presumably they are part of the same spell.

An online source says that the Crimson Circle also appears in Tomb of Dracula I#44 (February, 1976), this however are the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak used by Doctor Strange in a fight against Dracula.

Profile by MarvellousLuke

The Crimson Circle of Cyttorak has no known connections to

Images: (without ads)
Strange Tales I#125, p20, pan3 (main image)
Doctor Strange II#7, p8, pan1&2 (using the spell against Umar)
Doctor Strange II#57, p20, pan2 (using the spell against Margali)

Strange Tales I#125/2 (July, 1964) - Stan Lee (writer), Steve Ditko (pencils), George Bell (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Doctor Strange II#7 (January, 1975) - Steve Englehart (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), John Romita (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Doctor Strange II#57 (February, 1983) - Roger Stern (writer), Kevin Nowlan (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Doctor Strange II#58 (April, 1983) - Roger Stern (writer), Dan Green (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Doctor Strange II#68 (September, 1984) - Roger Stern (writer), Paul Smith (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Doctor Strange II#70 (April, 1985) - Roger Stern (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme I#44 mention

First Posted: 05/05/2023
Last Updated: 05/05/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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